About Me

Name:
Sue

Location:
Southern New Jersey

I am a Mom to 2 amazing and fun daughters and wife to a great guy and a wonderful father!

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Kayla
Kayla, my oldest. She is 4 1/2 and is a sweet, loving and silly little girl. She took us 2 ½ years and 3 IVF’s to conceive. Kayla is allergic to dairy. We manage her allergy and work to balance her safety with giving her a normal childhood. Kayla loves to read books and play games - she amazes me every day.


Alysa
Alysa, my youngest. She is 3 years old and is a silly little spitfire. She’s our monkey and loves to climb on everything. She was a “natural” baby, but it was only b/c of my wonderful doctors that we were able to stop an impending miscarriage. Alysa suffers from Acid Reflux Disease and sleep apnea. She may be little, but she has a big personality. She adores her big sister and is so much fun to be around. She keeps me laughing every day.


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Mothers Day 2009

Saturday, June 30, 2007
Saturday Scraps #4
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Yesterday we took the girls to a children's amusement park by Atlantic City called Storybook Land. Last year, Alysa was too young for any of the rides and she was miserable. This year, they both had a blast. They both went on almost every ride multiple times.

This time I used Christine's suggested kit (J was very nice to me this morning and gave me some scrapping time) - the BABA Kit by Chickypow Designs. I also added the Journaling Tag which was made by Angela at My Digital Scrapbooking Blog and the Cardboard Tag came from one of my favorite designers, Lindsay Jane Designs.

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Hop on over to Christine's to see her page and others who have joined.


posted at 10:11 AM  
  2 comments



Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Sweet.

How easy a theme could I get? This is a picture from our trip to our Timeshare resort in New York State. Kayla scraped her knee by the pool and Alysa kissed it to make it better.

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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.


posted at 8:35 AM  
  12 comments



Sunday, June 24, 2007
We're Off
Well, we're just about all packed. We'll be leaving within a half hour. My goal was to get on last night and also read up a bit on everyone else b4 bed. That never happened. Ho hum... So I apologize for my slackiness this past week or two. It's been hectic. I had a few stories to share, but that will have to wait until after vacation.

We'll be heading to NY State for the first half of the week and then home for day trips the end of the week. We'll be visiting a friend of mine on our way home. I met her years ago on-line during our battles with infertility. She just recently had her 3rd. Her oldest and Kayla are 2 1/2 weeks apart in age and her middle and Alysa are a month an a half apart in age. I'm looking forward to seeing her.

And I got some wonderful news this morning. Another friend of mine, also from the same infertility message board is FINALLY pregnant. After over 5 1/2 years of trying. I am so excited for her. It's the perfect start to our vacation!

I hope everyone has a great week! I'll do some major catching up when I get back. I promise!


posted at 10:29 AM  
  5 comments



Saturday, June 23, 2007
Saturday Scraps #3
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This is a page I made to show the progression of my pregnancy with Kayla. I have every intention of using this similar layout to do the same with Alysa's pregnancy. It's actually one of the first pages I made. I have not had much time this week to scrap. But I have started working on one with a Father's Day kit I had found. Think I'll get time to scrap while on vacation? I think - probably NOT! ;)

I made this page with a Template that I found on Ruby's blog. The kit I used was Sweet Pea by Krista.

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Hop on over to Christine's to see her page and others who have joined.


posted at 9:25 AM  
  4 comments



Wednesday, June 20, 2007
Father's Day
So every day I keep saying I'm going to post today, I'm going to post today. And here it is Wednesday and no post. Not even a Wordless Wednesday. Well, that's more b/c I just won't have the time to visit since I am off of work all next week. Of course, the girls have given me plenty of "Kodak Moments" for the meme.

We had a wonderful Father's Day. J had a morning of golfing with my Dad while my Mom and I took the girls to the Aquarium. Kayla loved every minute of it.
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She would have stayed all day. Alysa on the other hand - while she loved the fish,
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she was not happy with the being held back part. I didn't even bring the stroller b/c she's miserable in it. And if she's miserable, I'm miserable. So we put her Elmo leash on her and let her walk (Kayla then had to have her leash on too - go figure). Alysa thought all the fake rocks and ledges by the tanks were pieces of a huge jungle gym. She wanted to climb on EVERYTHING.
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She was pretty ticked that I would not let her. Then she wasn't thrilled with the limitations of the leash. Walking between exhibits, she was actually ok and would hold my hand. But she wouldn't stay still very long and wanted to run all over and climb on everything. Add to that - she was up b4 6am which is WAY too early for her, so she was exhausted. So it was rough with her. I carried her a lot, but that didn't satisfy her either. At least she did like looking at the fish in between temper tantrums.
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Kayla was thrilled with every fish she saw. And it made her day to pet the star fish - unfortunately the pet a shark exhibit was closed.
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During Alysa's nap, Kayla helped my Mom make a fruit salad while I made pasta salad and deviled eggs.
Ready, Set...
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*Please note the bite out of the outside of the watermelon*

Go...
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Yum!
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J's parents came down later that day and we had steak cooked on the grill along with the salads. For dessert I made a delicious apple coffee cake and home made rice pudding. Before dinner, I of course had out snacks - chips, pretzels, dip and the deviled eggs. Kayla was glued to that table and kept saying "I LOVE snacks". Too bad she had a tummy ache at midnight that night. Ho Hum... You can tell she hardly ever gets that kind of food. I think she over did it a tiny bit. ;) I did manage to get her to eat a few bites of steak for dinner and then of course the fruit salad.

Aside from grilling the steaks (you don't want me doing that), J was told to relax. But he doesn't relax very well and was outside pulling weeds for a while. Funny to see me "yelling" at him to stop yelling and sit and do nothing. ;)

The Girls with their Daddy in the T-shirt they made him.
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All of us.
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So it was a really nice day. Monday, my friend came over with her 3 girls so all 5 girls had fun playing together (well, 4 - 1 is 4 months). It was nice to have some Mommy time even if it was in the middle of a room scattered with every toy we have in the house. The rest of the week so far has been low-key. I have been such a slacker - I really need to start organizing and packing for our vacation. Sunday we will be leaving for our Timeshare in Callicoon New York. We are most likely not staying the entire week. Sleeping arrangements may be a bit difficult with the 2 of them and we have some places we'd like to check out by us too. So the end of the week will most likely be day trips in our area. I'm so looking forward to a week with both J and I home.

Now if someone would just give me a kick in the pants to get me motivated!!!



posted at 1:45 PM  
  5 comments



Sunday, June 17, 2007
Mommy Talk #10

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This Week's Question is:
How were your first few weeks at home? Sleeping, eating habits? Any baby blues/post-partum issues?

With Kayla I never had any post partum issues. Then again I was so overwhelmed with her her severe Acid Reflux Disease and my inability to breast feed (you can read more about that from last week here that I didn't have time for my issues. :) I spent many nights awake with her screaming for hours and I just cried with her. There were times I called J at work so distraught b/c I couldn't help her. I know part of it was from hormone changes, but for the most part it was just from a helplessness I felt from my inability to ease her pain. My Mom and I joked one night at 2am that at least if someone found her irresistably adorable and stole her, they'd bring her right back after she started screaming. ;) Hey - when it's 2am and when you're sleep-deprived from a screaming infant, anything sounds funny. I do miss the times when she wasn't crying endlessly and she would just sleep on me. The one thing abouther disease is that when she conked out, she was out - she'd sleep for 5+ hours. Once I gave up on my pathetic attempt to b/f and pump, my eating habits were poor. There were many days I would get through the day and realize I hadn't eaten all day. Sleep? Only after Kayla would end a crying jag and pass out from exhaustion. Sometimes this would be in her car seat after a drive around the block with Daddy. I also remember the days in her first couple weeks b4 her reflux was too bad that she'd eat at 5 or 6am and her and I would go back to sleep in my bed together. Heaven!

With Alysa, it was somewhat better. She had reflux disease as well, but not as severe. It hindered her formula intake and made her fussy during feedings, but after she was done eating (even a pathetic amount), she was fine for the most part. She was fussiest from about 8-9pm to 1am'ish. J was great - he took the first shift and let me sleep for a few hours. Then around 12-1am, he would come up and I took the rest of the night. She was very gassy on top of her reflux, so she pretty much slept on me for the first 8 weeks of her life. This way she slept and I got some sleep. More than if she slept in her bassinet. After that she moved to her crib. I was in much less of a fog with Alysa due to being an "experience Mom". But I did have some post-partum. It showed itself with some anxiety over being alone with the 2 of them. Nothing severe, but I was VERY emotional and nervous over juggling the 2 of them. Luckily that didn't last too long. Plus this time around I had a 16 month old to help adjust. She had a rough time. She loved her sister and never took anything out on her, but she went from my perfect sleeper to a child who cried when she went down, cried when she woke up and cried in between. She was ok as long as she could be with me too. She sat with me while I fed her and played with her. But if I had to change Alysa, Kayla would cling to my legs crying for me. It took her a good 2 months to fully adjust and get back to her normal sleep pattern.

Hop on over to Mommy Talk to see other responses.


posted at 7:45 PM  
  5 comments



Friday, June 15, 2007
Saturday Scraps #2
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I made this page with a kit intended for boys. But I loved the elements and colors in the kit and hey, my girls love their cars and trucks. I'm really happy with how it turned out.

I made this page with the Boys Club kit from Lindsay Jane Designs.

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*Girls will be Boys*

Hop on over to Christine's to see her page and others who have joined.


posted at 7:31 PM  
  5 comments



Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Hair.

This one was easy. I knew right away which picture I wanted to use. The trick was finding it. ;) This is Kayla in July of 06. Her hair is so curly and was so hard to manage. It is getting better now that it's longer, although her curls are as tight as ever. This was while I was attempting to do her hair in pig tails.

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Here's the after shot:
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.


posted at 7:16 PM  
  24 comments



Thursday, June 14, 2007
On the Mend
I am happy to report that we have had 2 peaceful nights in a row. Kayla slept soundly through Tuesday night and last night. I was actually surprised b/c it can take time for the medication to build up in your system. I’m assuming that since she was still getting half her dose through last Friday that it had not all left her system so it didn’t take much to re-suppress her stomach pumps. But it also goes to show that her reflux disease is pretty bad if she has that much pain while she’s still taking a half of her needed dose.

It was so sad b/c Tuesday I told her I would give her the tummy medicine so she could sleep in her bed. She started to cry and said she didn’t want to sleep in her bed; she wanted to sleep in her chair. My heart broke. That night, she did indeed fall asleep in her chair, NOT her bed.

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We did go in, put the wedges that we have for reflux in her bed and I then moved her to her bed. She was then medicated and elevated and slept soundly all night. We will keep her wedges in her bed for the remainder of the week to give her medication the chance to fully build up. Her eating has improved but it’s not yet back to normal. But that will come.

Off topic – I have one week left until my house goes into chaos for about 3 weeks. The last week of June, J and I are on vacation. We will be heading up to our Timeshare in Callicoon, New York State. We plan on staying there as long as the girls will tolerate. We very possibly will head home early to do some daytrips. It’s a great resort, but I don’t think there is enough to entertain them for a full 8 days. And we have tons to do around us. The Zoo, Storybook Land (an amusement park for little ones), the Aquarium, the Insectarium (yes, insects – yuck), local farms, etc. The week after that is July 4th week – I am actually off for July 4th AND 5th, which happens to be J’s normal days off so we get an extra 2 days together. Then on the 6th, I head out to North Carolina with my parents to visit my gm with the girls. The weekend after that, I am heading out solo to visit my Sister so I can FINALLY meet my newest nephew. It will be the first time I have spent more than a night away from the girls (aside from when I was in the hospital after having Alysa). But even then I saw Kayla every day. I am looking forward to spending the time with my Sis and her family. It will be so weird to be able to eat dairy and not wash my hands immediately and to not stress over every crumb that falls to the floor. It will be a nice break, although I’m sure I’ll still be reading labels out of habit. :)

After my Ohio trip things should calm down for a few weeks. Hopefully that will give me the time to fully plan Kayla’s birthday party which is set for August 11th. Amazing how busy summer can be. And of course comes the onslaught of birthday parties as Kayla has 3 friends with birthdays all around the same time in July. But it’s already a fun summer with the girls.

Yesterday, at Wal-Mart, I got the girls a couple new pool toys. You know, the cheap floaty toys that will last one season (hopefully). Kayla was SO excited this morning to see her inflatable Jet Ski. She was begging J to go in the pool as I left the house to head to work. :)

Last night I had a nice night out with my best friend. We went to the mall and had dinner. She did a BAD thing and “dragged” me into The Children’s Place (she’s having a girl in October). That store can be so evil. But…although I splurged a bit (well, only $30 worth), I shopped “good”. I bought only 3 outfits, all of which were on sale AND I got sizes for NEXT summer. So there you go. No guilt!

=====================================================================

I’m also adding to this post a meme that I was tagged for a couple weeks ago by Janeen. Sorry Janeen for taking so long…

What were you doing 10 years ago?

June 1997: I have just finished my Junior year of college and my first year at Rider University. I was moving into an apartment with my roommate from Rider/my best friend. J and I were not officially dating but were slowly moving towards that. And my gm had recently been dx'd with cancer.

What were you doing 1 year ago?
June 2006: Kayla was in Feeding Therapy, she had recently had an Upper Endoscopy done to look at her esophagus. Alysa was 6 months old. We had a nice family vacation at home that month with day trips.

Five snacks you enjoy:
1. Cheese & Crackers
2. Cheese Doodles
3. Chips & Dip
4. Nachos
5. Nuts
(now I’m hungry)

Five songs that you know all the lyrics:
1. Dora’s Theme Song
2. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
3. Hush Little Baby
4. Itsy Bitsy Spider
5. Skinnamarinkydinkydoo (sp?)
(yes, they are all kid’s songs – I hardly ever listen to adult music anymore so I don’t know what ones I still would know…)

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:
1. Be a SAHM
2. Have NO debt (except a mortgage if we’re only talking 1 million)
3. College funds for the girls
4. A larger retirement fund for me and J
If we had millionS:
5. A bigger house on 3 acres

Five bad habits:
1. Not eating properly
2. Twirling my hair when I’m bored
3. Letting my upstairs bathroom sink go too long between cleanings
4. Lagging behind on e-mail replies
5. Not filing papers right away and therefore cluttering my desk up

Five things you like doing: (Not in any order of importance)
1. Playing with my kids
2. Digital Scrap Booking
3. Reading
4. Blogging
5. Hanging out with my Hubby
(I stuck with Janeen’s 5)

Five things you would never wear again:
1. Crop Tops
2. Bikini
3. Big Bangs
4. Leggings (out of the house)
5. Pants with the cuffs folded and rolled up ;)

Five favorite toys:
1. My computer
2. My camera
3. Our swing set
4. Our pool – keeps us all occupied
5. My digital voice recorder – I love capturing what they say

Now I tag:
I’m still behind, so I’ll tag anyone who wants to join in. If you do, leave me a comment so I can come check yours out.


posted at 2:20 PM  
  3 comments



Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Wordless Wednesday
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*Kayla fell asleep in her chair at 4am after a long 5 hours of being up from her acid reflux disease. You can read the details here*

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 7:53 PM  
  14 comments



Am I Jumping the Gun...?
I think Not...

So on June 1st, I cut Kayla and Alysa’s dose of Prevacid in half. They went from getting two doses a day to only one. I gave it to them in the morning for a week, hoping that dose would get them through the day so they would eat. This past Saturday, I stopped their Prevacid altogether. I have been dreading this step for a very long time. But I knew it was inevitable and the only way to determine if they still need their medication. I was a bit resistant to trying this break, but I recently read an excellent book written by a Pediatric GI doctor about infant reflux. Now yes I know my kids are way past the infant stage. But I found it to be an excellent read and the last chapter was about reflux in children. The book, Colic Solved was written by Bryan Vartabedian. I found it a bit scary that he states that if GERD (reflux disease) goes past the age of 24 months, then it is no longer isolated to infancy and will not be easily outgrown. His meaning is that the normal physiological reasons for infant reflux are gone at this point. Basically, the digestive tract is matured and fully formed. This is usually so by 18 months, which is why Alysa is also be trialed off her Prevacid. But he also states that it’s easy for parents to see the medication as a crutch and it’s important to trial w/o it to determine if it’s still needed. So we forged ahead. The plan, a decreased dose for 1 week on both girls and then no medication. They go for a weight check in August (6 weeks after the trial began) and then, assuming all is ok, for a check-up with GI in September.

Although I am concerned about both girls, I tend to get more panicky at the first sign of trouble with Kayla as Prevacid was a huge part in bringing her out of her Failure to Thrive (FTT) diagnosis. And she looks healthy now. FTT is a terrifying diagnosis, especially when you’re faced with possible hospitalization.

So of course, this week, I have been on edge. I am questioning every possible food intake change. So far I have not noticed much change in Alysa. Her eating has been erratic for a while. But that all seems to revolve around her teething. She’ll eat like gangbusters, and then slow down for a few weeks, only to have it increase again after her tooth breaks through. She actually started to decline a few days b4 the Prevacid changed. But, I have not noticed anything significant since June 1st. She eats like a bird like always. :)

Kayla on the other hand – let’s say I have noticed some things. For a child, who a year ago was seeing a Feeding Therapist to help increase her food intake eats amazing well, especially considering she’s a Toddler entering her Preschooler years. Of course she’s almost 3, so she does not eat perfectly at every meal and sometimes barely eats anything. But overall, she does great. She’ll eat a whole sandwich (minus the crust) and sometimes a half of a soy yogurt (depending on her mood and how much of her sandwich she ate), then fruit and sometimes a snack. That was a typical lunch. Her other meals were similar in volume. In the past week, I have noticed that her volume has declined in some meals. Not every meal, but she has more meals now with less intake than she used to. Has it been a drastic drop, for the most part, no. She has had a couple where she barely ate anything. But I have stopped offering her a whole sandwich. Her yogurt intake has increased thankfully. But is it b/c it aggravates reflux less? I don’t know. She doesn’t complain during meals (though she never did, except when she was an infant). Am I seeing things that aren’t there or exaggerating what is there? She has 1 more molar that she’s working on, but teething has never fazed her very much.

The most “telling” has been the past 4 nights. Friday was her last day with her 1 dose of Prevacid, so it was her 8th day of a decreased dose (and it can take some time for the effects to be seen, as the medication reduces in the body. That night, she woke up at night crying. She was up for 2 hours that night. Between crying and getting out of bed to climb in bed with us, it was a long 2 hours. Finally, after2 hours, she went back to sleep and slept the rest of the night. Reflux popped into my head immediately (being horizontal can wreak havoc on reflux). J thought I was reading into things. Saturday and Sunday, she woke up crying. But luckily both nights, she went back to sleep easily (Saturday, after 2 wakings, Sunday after only once). Last night was a whole different ball game. She woke up at 11pm and didn’t go back to sleep until about 4am. She cried, she got out of bed, came in bed with us, had to go potty and kept complaining that her tummy hurt (that was the theme of all 4 nights). Now I know as a Toddler, she can say that b/c she thinks it will get her what she wants (like her phase of “my tummy hurts, I need to watch Dora”), but that phase has pretty much passed. We tried everything. I told her if she got out of bed, I’d put the lock on her door. We did – she cried and cried. We tried letting her cry it out (which usually works w/in 5 minutes). It didn’t. She cried for 5-10 minute intervals, would lay down and then be crying again 20 minutes later. I tried giving her Tylenol and eventually took the lock off. I’d rather her come into my room than hear her cry constantly. She did – at one point, she came up laid on my tummy and said, “My tummy hurts, I need more tummy medicine”. This is SO not like her. Whenever she has a bad dream, she’s up and cries, I go comfort her and she goes right back to sleep. She is only up like this when something’s not right. I’m so afraid it’s reflux. When she did finally fall back to sleep it was in her pottery barn chair with her head resting on the arm of the chair (elevated, go figure). And she slept like this until 7am. Then this morning on my way to work, it enters my mind that although she was up for the past 4 nights, the one thing the 2 worst nights have in common was her dinner – Pizza. *Ding*Ding*Ding*! I never had to think twice about what she ate when she was medicated, so it never entered my mind. Bad Mommy!!!

So I have a call into her GI doc today. I certainly don’t want to jump the gun b/c I know this trial is important but I certainly won’t be letting it go too long b/c I know how long it can take to suppress her stomach pumps and heal a damaged esophagus. Let’s just say my Mommy Alarms are going off and I am on full alert. My Mommy Instincts are telling me it’s Reflux. Then of course there is the aspect of not wanting my child to suffer from a chronic disease her whole life. But…I can’t change it so I need to tackle it head-on! So back on Prevacid she will go today…

P.S. I just spoke to her Allergist and he definitely thinks it’s her Reflux. Go Mommy Instincts!!!


posted at 10:00 AM  
  1 comments



Sunday, June 10, 2007
Mommy Talk #9

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This Week's Question is:
What was it like going home from the hospital for you? Did your baby have any medical issues?

Coming home from the hospital was actually very nice. With Kayla I was a bit out of it mostly because as a new Mom you're in unchartered territory. The main pain I had was from my stitches from my tear. But within 3 days I was in no pain at all. In her first week, Kayla was a dream baby. She slept all the time - her first night home she slept 5 hours b4 I eventually woke her up to eat. We were then told to wake her up every 3 hours to eat. My Mom stayed with us the first week which was a big help.

When I was pg with Kayla, I planned on b/f'ing. It was very important to me. She did great in the hospital - she latched on like a champ. Although, I had issues with her intake and the lactation support at my hospital was pretty pathetic. The major problems arose at home. She would latch on and then pull away b/c basically I was not producing. So her first week, although she was a dream, was filled with feeding anxieties (ironic that it foreshadowed all her problems to come). I even had a lactation consultant come to the house (private, so we paid her) b/c the one at the hospital wouldn't even return my call. At the end of an hour, even she had me give her a bottle. Basically, my milk took 8 days to actually come in, but by then, Kayla was on a bottle. I pumped for another 2 weeks or so, but it would take me 3 days to get a 3 ounce bottle (and I pumped 4 times a day). So unfortunately I had to give it up. It devastated me that I could not b/f and I agonized over the decision and my inability. But I also came to find out that it was a very common problem after suffering from hormonal infertility. But also looking back, part of her irritability may have been partly from her beginning reflux disease symptoms. And once I stopped pumping, I could more enjoy Kayla as I had more time to bond with her since I was spending less time attached to a pump. ;)

When Kayla was a week old is when her reflux disease started to show up. She would cry after every feeding. Within a week, she'd cry for 2 hours after every feeding. We obviously stopped waking her up to eat b/c when we finally got her to sleep, she needed it and she'd zonk out for 5+hours at night. She ended up in the ER at 2 1/2 weeks old b/c she refused to eat at all. That is when she was started on Zantac. Little did we know then, she was also showing signs of her dairy allergy.

I really didn't have any post-partum issues with Kayla. I cried a lot, but it was mostly at night when she was screaming endlessly. I'd sit and cry with her b/c nothing I did would comfort her. It was heartbreaking and extremely difficult to witness.

Alysa was "easier" in that she didn't show her signs of reflux disease until later. And although she really fought her feedings, once she was "done" eating, she was content. But we had the same frustration with feeding her. It was harder in some ways coming home with her b/c Kayla had a really hard time sharing Mommy. She was fine as long as she could sit with me and Alysa. In other ways it was easier, as we'd done it all before, so we were more confident and knew what to expect. I did have some post-partum depression with Alysa. But luckily it was short-lived and wasn't severe. With all I went through with Kayla I made the decision while pg not to try b/f'ing this time. It was a hard decision, but I remembered how hard it was on Kayla and didn't want to put either of them through that. It was the right decision, as my milk never even came in with Alysa. But even though the decision had been made early, it was still hard on me when she was born and I had a lot of doubts, even though I knew (and still know) I made the right decision considering the outcome would have been the same.

Alysa did not sleep quite as much as Kayla, but she wasn't a horrible sleeper. She was fussy from about 9pm to 2am. Actually, for the first 8 weeks of her life, she slept on me. It was the only way she would sleep which means I somewhat slept.

Overall, I can't complain - they were both good babies. Even through Kayla's screaming, the few moments of time that she would not scream, we could see the easy-going personality that she had and still has (for the most part). We loved having them home with us and cherish every moment we get with them. I can even say I never even resented midnight feedings - who could resent being woken up by someone so precious???


posted at 11:17 AM  
  3 comments



Saturday, June 09, 2007
Strawberry Adventures
I've had another pretty poor bloggie week so I apologize. I did a bit better this weekend. I'm still not feeling 100%, although all my bloodwork came out normal. So apparently, I'm the picture of health. I have had less joint pain, so that is something at least.

Thursday night though was eventful. I took the girls in the kiddie pool while J worked on cleaning the big pool. At one point he opened the chlorine container and a bunch of chlorine vapors got in his face (quite a bit actually). He was choking and gagging quite a bit and then had trouble seeing. He was really quite out of it and could barely walk. I was ready to call 911, but I was able to get my neighbor/boss to drive him to the ER so I didn't have to drag the kids out at bedtime. My Mom then drove down to watch the girls so I could meet him at the ER. They took him in immediately (when does that ever happen) and flushed his eyes for 20 minutes. He's fine, thankfully. Even the docs and nurses said he was really lucky - chlorine can apparently do a lot of damage. But he had a wicked headache that trickled over to Friday, so he took the day off. So that was a nice side effect from the whole ordeal.

Today, my Mom and I took the girls strawberry picking at a local farm. They had a blast and we have a TON of juicy ripe strawberries, some cherries and even some peas. Kayla wants to go again and can't wait until it's time to go blueberry picking. I will also admit that it took Kayla a few times of trampling some poor unsuspecting strawberries before we convince her not to walk over the plants. Yikes! She seemed to enjoy this adventure even more than apple packing. I think besides being 8 months older, she can reach all the strawberry plants b/c they are at ground level. Here are some pics from our morning.

Ready to Pick Berries...
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Organizing their cherries...
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Alysa picking strawberries...
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Kayla picking strawberries...
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Our loot...
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Kayla enjoying them...
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Alysa REALLY enjoyed them...
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One of my upcoming projects is planning Kayla's birthday party that will be August 11th. Yesterday I sat down and designed her invitations. I used my newly found skills of digital scrapbooking and was able to incorporate her Backyardigan's theme. I am actually quite happy with how it turned out. Let me know what you think.

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Credits:
I made this invitation with the Birthday Girl kit from Mira Designs as well as some Backyardigans clipart I found on-line. And yes, that is Kayla amongst her Backyardigan friends at the bottom. :)


posted at 7:57 PM  
  5 comments



Friday, June 08, 2007
Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Shoes.

Alysa putting on my sneakers...this was back in February...
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.


posted at 9:54 PM  
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Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Wordless Wednesday - Apply Lotion Daily
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*She was supposed to be napping*

Hop on over to WW to see more great photos.


posted at 8:45 AM  
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Monday, June 04, 2007
A New Week
Well, the weekend's over and it's on with another week. I made it to my last cake decorating class Friday night. I've been able to pick up everything they taught easily except that darn Wilton Rose. It just doesn't like me. So don't expect to see any roses on Kayla's Pablo cake this August. :) But it was fun and I'm hoping to take the 2nd course in July.

Alysa had her 18 months appointment today and all was well. She finally hit 20 pounds, yes, she's only 20lb, 3oz at 18 months. She's a peanut. :) Hey - she is now officially able to be forward facing in the car. Yay! She's healthy and ahead of schedule developmentally, so what more could I ask for? THe funny part is that their Ped tells me that a friend of hers is also a Pediatrician and that she is in Alysa's gymnastics class with us. She knows this because she had told her friend the story of Alysa's Bandaid Adventure (without names of course). And then her friend overheard me telling this story to another Mom in the class one day. I thought is was pretty comical, but it also shows you that you never know who could be listening. It's a good thing I said only good things about their Ped. :) So now, I have to work on the update to their website.

Yesterday, we went to the Christening for my gf's daughter. It was nice. The girls had a blast, as it was at a hall, so there was tons of room to run around and be crazy with the numerous cousins that were there. Kayla loves being around kids and is not shy with them at all. Actually she wasn't shy with anyone that day. She was giving tons of hugs and kiss to my gf, her husband and her kids and their cousins. It was very sweet. Of course it was stressful, but we got through w/o any reactions or mishaps. The biggest downfall yesterday was we had very little opportunity to socialize b/c we have to follow by Kayla's side at all times. But everyone understands and they all know Kayla's situation, so no one even tried to touch her. It's always nice to NOT have to tell someone not to touch her. My gf was also sweet enough to put at us at our own table. This way, we didn't have to worry about other people's food getting near Kayla once the food was put out. J and I took turns eating the least risky food available while the girls had their safe cupcakes. That's all Kayla cared about. We left after we ate since all the plates posed a much bigger risk. My gf also made a special point to thank me for coming knowing how hard it is on us and how stressful it is. She said she gives me so much credit for taking her places. This is exactly the reason I DO go. A little understanding goes such a long way for us. So I'm glad we went and the girls loved being there. And of course they looked absolutely beautiful in their dresses.

Waiting to leave...
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*excuse the red eye, I have to get a better red-eye reducing program*
Alysa...
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Kayla...
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The drive home...
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This week I hope to get Kayla's party invitation started - I plan on designing them myself since I am learning digi scrapping. I also have to buckle down and organize my thoughts and questions for preschool in September (boohoo). This weekend, my Mom and I plan on taking the girls to a local farm to do some strawberry and blueberry picking. I'm looking forward to it. Have a great night - my eyes can't take much more of this computer screen.


posted at 8:12 PM  
  2 comments



Mommy Talk #8

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This Week's Question is:
Birth Story

For all the drama that surrounded both of their conception, I actually had very normal and wonderful birth experiences. I was very luck.

With Kayla, I worked full time up until a week before my due date. I had always wondered, 'how will I know'. A gf of mine told me she knew when she could no longer sleep through the contractions. Kayla was due on a Sunday. On Wednesday night, I was having a lot of contractions. Around 10pm, I decided to go to sleep. I woke up a couple hours later from the contractions and although they were not excessively painful, I could not sleep. They made it to 5 minutes apart for an hour through pacing, etc. My doc told me to go to the hospital (mind you I was 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced at my last check-up and they had stripped my membranes earlier that day). But at the hospital I was still only 3 cm and my contractions, although steady enough, they were not strong enough. I was given 2 heavy duty sleeping pills and sent home. J and I slept that day. That afternoon we went walking everywhere as my contractions were exactly the same, every 5 minutes but not too painful. That night, I was in bed at 9pm, decided to get up and pee then try to go to sleep. As I got out of bed, my water broke. So back to the hospital we went. This time they kept me, obviously. I was given my wonderful epidural right away per my request and they then gave me pitocin b/c my contractions had not strengthened even with my water breaking and my cervix was staying steady at 3cm. I had gotten to the hospital at around 10pm and Kayla made her debut at 4:48am on Friday (2 days shy of her due date) after almost 2 hours of pushing. Actually at the end, I threw up (all over my poor Mother) and that is what gave her that added push. The doctor almost didn't catch her b/c they weren't expecting it. J, my Mom and I got to spend the first hour of her life in the L&D room holding her and getting acquainted before they took her up to the nursery to be weighed. So in total she was 30 hours of labor, but luckily most of it was at home and very low on the pain scale - more annoying than anything. :) Kayla was 8lb, 3oz and 19 3/4" long.

Alysa was due on a Monday, although b/c my OB would not listen when I told them the exact date I ovulated, they put her due date a week before, so according to them, she was a week late, but I know she was actually due a week after that. I was actually scheduled to be induced on the upcoming Tuesday (1 day after her actual due date). We had some drama b/c my Mom was going to not attend Alysa's birth so she could watch Kayla. But the week before she found out a coworker had Hep A (the one you can get through casual contact and curable). But our Ped wanted my Mom nowhere near the kids b/c it has a 2 month incubation period. So, we had to scramble. Our babysitter was put on call, but the only day she could NOT watch Kayla was Saturday. From that moment on, I knew she would be born on Saturday. Luckily I was able to put my best friend on call. Sure enough, Friday night, my contractions got stronger and close together. My doc wanted me to wait a bit longer so I went to sleep. I was able to sleep but woke up at 4:30am. They were 5 minutes apart and getting pretty strong - I could no longer talk through them by around 5:30. I refused to wake up Kayla unless I absolutely had to. When she woke up, we were able to drop her off at her babysitter's just long enough for J to drop me off at the hospital. He then went back, brought Kayla home and waited for my gf. At the hospital my docs were changing shifts, so the nurse was trying to wait on my epidural for me to be seen b/c I was only 2-3cm dilated and the doc had to decide if they were keeping me. Let's say I was in enough pain that I wasn't leaving. But b/c there was another Mom there in need of more assistance, it took a while. So the nurse made the decision to give me the IV fluids I needed for an epidural and I ended up with my epidural b4 my doc came in. So by the time J got back to me, I was pain-free. They also gave me pitocin to speed things up a bit. Around noon time, even though my epidural was a continuous drip, I needed a boost as the contractions were getting painful again. With this, I lost ALL feeling in my legs and could not move at all. The nurse knew at this point I was ready but we were waiting on my doc to finish a c-section. When she came in, Alysa took 1 1/5 pushes and she was born at exactly 1:00pm. Again, we got that 1st hour with her. Alysa was 7lb, 2oz and 19 3/4" long. Alysa was also 2 days shy of her true due date.

I tore with both girls and needed stitches, but believe me when I say, it was painful for 3 days and then I was fine - no pain. Amazing how fast it healed.

With both girls, I was so lucky to have the birth experience I had hoped for. Once I was in labor with Kayla any fears of childbirth were gone. I am thrilled I was able to deliver vaginally with both of them. More importantly, I would have missed out on the special hour with them immediately after birth had I needed a c-section with either of them. That hour was so special to me. But of course, the most important thing is the healthy baby and I would have done what I needed to.

Kayla
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Alysa
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posted at 9:02 AM  
  3 comments



Saturday, June 02, 2007
Saturday Scraps #1
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Now that I'm having so much fun with my newly found hobby of digi scrapping, I thought I'd join Saturday Scraps hosted by Christine at Are We There Yet.

I made this page with the Just Pink mini kit from Lindsay Jane Designs.

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*Beautiful Girl Alysa*

Hopefully I'll at least have 1 page made each week so I can post here. I haven't done anything this week with all the craziness. But I'm hoping to get some time in the next few days.


posted at 10:10 AM  
  4 comments



Saturday Photo Hunt
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This week's theme is Art.

A piece of artwork Kayla made for my Mom for Mother's Day.
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To view other Saturday Photo Hunts go here.


posted at 10:08 AM  
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